2019 was a phenomenal vintage for Chardonnay in Margaret River. The G-10 is a pure reflection of this cool long vintage. Pure fruit, Nashi Pear, and a flinty minerality, not to mention beautifully integrated, gentle oak spice.
The 2019 Willow Bridge G1-10 Chardonnay is everything we want in good quality Chardonnay, and when we consider the price point, there’s not much more to be said. A great wine, at $26.99 a bottle in six-packs, it's an absolute steal.
The season for the Geographe wine region was cool and dry. The five months until the end of January had yielded little rain, about 70mm less than the same period last year The cooler weather also disrupted flowering and fruit set resulting in much smaller bunch sizes and high incidence of hen and chicken, especially in Chardonnay. The January 2019 average temperature of 21.3 was two degrees Celsius lower than the 23.3 of 2016. Ideal weather for stunning white wines.
A combination of hand picked, whole bunch pressed and machine harvested fruit, allowed to proceed directly to ferment with wild and cultured yeast in French oak barriques. After fermentation, the wine is assessed for fruit purity and lees complexity, and winemaking is then tailor made on a barrel by barrel basis, with each having its own identity.
Pale colour, aromatic nashi pear, lemon and white scented flowers with a fragrant light toast. A precise palate of harmonious oak teamed with grapefruit pith and white fleshed fruit. Long , textural and clean.
Two hours south of Perth in the Ferguson Valley sub-region of Geographe is where you’ll find Willow Bridge Estate. Jeff and Vicki Dewar bought the vineyard in 1996 and enlisted the expertise of Kim Horton and Dougal Herd to create premium wines that are exceptional value for money. In 1997 they planted 100 acres of wine grapes – and held their breath. Then another 50 acres were planted in 1998, making Willow Bridge the biggest planting in what was then a largely unknown region. The vineyard is sited high on the western watershed of the Darling Ranges, with the vines enjoying spectacular views over the coastal plain, and across the waters of Geographe Bay to Cape Naturaliste. The vineyard is 25km from the coast as the crow flies, and receives the cooling afternoon sea breeze during summer. At an elevation between 230 and 280 meters, the estate is generally two degrees or more cooler than the coastal plain, with ripening times similar to the cool southern parts of the neighbouring Margaret River wine region.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
When I first opened this I thought it looked ‘worked’. It’s flinty, lashed with oak, has popcorn aromatics and a general pear-and-cedarwood persona. I thought it was good, but it was hard not to be distracted by the furious paddling of feet. As it breathed though a dazzle of fresh, steely, zippy fruit became more and more apparent, if not predominant. Fruit really does burst out through the finish here in convincing fashion. It’s very young, cohesion is still on the build, but it’s on the way somewhere very good. 93.5/100
A full-ish chardonnay with apple, pear and pineapple aromas and flavors. Spiced biscuit and pastry at the finish.